Medical Billing and Coding Salary

The world of medical billing and coding is broader than you may think – so when considering salaries, it helps to start by understanding the many factors that may play a role in your compensation.

So, what makes up a medical billing and coding salary? Besides credentials and professional certifications, your salary can also be based on your location, years of experience, type of employer, job title and job responsibilities.

If you review the 2020 wage data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), you’ll see that medical billing and coding salaries tend to be broad and varied, much like any other industry. When you research salaries using information from the BLS, it's important to understand both the high and low ends of the salary range instead of simply looking at an average.

If you're unfamiliar with how to read percentiles, think of it this way: if your salary falls in the 50th percentile, 50% of those employed in similar roles made more money than you and 50% made less.

Remember, it’s important to do your own research so you can understand your individual earning potential. Gaining a better understanding of the factors that can impact your medical billing and coding salary can help you set clear expectations for yourself as you outline your career goals and pursue job opportunities.

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What do Medical Billers Do?

Medical billers submit medical claims to insurance companies and payers such as Medicare and Medicaid. They ensure that claims are processed accurately based on a patient's record so that the healthcare provider can be reimbursed in a timely manner. Their expertise in navigating the healthcare system can be essential to the cash flow and financial health of any healthcare provider, from solo and group practices to large medical facilities.

What do Medical Coders Do?

Medical coders review a patient's file and translate diagnoses, treatments and other services from medical terms used by healthcare providers to universal medical codes required by insurance companies for claim submissions.

Medical coders also have expert knowledge in various medical coding systems. They are responsible for ensuring that the right codes are matched to the right diagnoses, treatments and procedures in every claim submission.

What are Some Common Job Positions and Titles for Medical Billing and Coding?

After you have received the required training and certification, you may consider pursuing a variety of medical billing and coding jobs. Here are some of the more common job titles and what they entail:

  • Medical Billing Specialist: Calculate and collect payment for medical procedures, treatments and services. Update patient data, develop payment plans, prepare invoices and ensure that patients are billed quickly and accurately.

  • Medical Coding Specialist: Medical Coding Specialist: Analyze medical charts and assign codes to diagnoses, treatments and medical services. The codes will then be used for submitting claims to insurance companies for reimbursement.
  • Medical Billing Clerk: Arrange and collect payments from patients. Maintain accurate patient account balances, generate patient statements, process payments and follow up on overdue invoices.

  • Medical Coding Auditor: Verify medical coding and billing information for accuracy, suspicious activity and compliance with healthcare regulations. Review patient records to ensure that each item is accurately documented on a billing inventory.

What are the Most Popular Workplaces for Medical Billing and Coding?

Medical billing and coding professionals work in many different healthcare settings. While the “most popular” workplaces may vary based on where you are located, here are some common workplaces you might consider:

  • Hospital: Large healthcare provider that may have multiple facilities within a network. It provides inpatient and outpatient medical care to patients.

  • Large Medical Practice: A group practice comprised of many healthcare practitioners. It may have multiple locations and offer care in various disciplines.

  • Small Medical Practice: A solo or small group practice of a few physicians. It could be a single-specialty or multi-specialty practice.
  • Dental Office: A solo or group practice where dentists and hygienists provide dental services.

  • Ambulatory Surgical Center (ASC): Healthcare facilities that offer same-day surgical care, including diagnostic and preventive procedures.

  • Healthcare Consulting Services: Consultants that help healthcare providers design, develop and implement solutions to improve performance and profitability.

  • Insurance Agencies: Health plan providers that reimburse healthcare facilities for the services they have provided to their members.

  • Government Agencies: These may include the National Center for Health Statistics or state Medicaid departments.

  • Law Firms: Legal practices that investigate fraud claims associated with incorrect billing procedures within the healthcare industry.

  • Educational Institutions: Colleges and technical schools that provide certification or degree programs on healthcare management and administration.

What is the Salary Range for Medical Billing and Coding by State?

As noted above, medical billing and coding salaries are determined by many factors. Where you live can play a big part in defining your earning potential, as costs of living, company size and your organization’s revenue potential are all contributing factors. As an example, in 2020, Medical Records Specialists in Tennessee took home a lower annual median wage than those living in California.

That being said, keep in mind that salary is just one of many factors you should consider when pursuing a new job opportunity. Insurance benefits, paid time off and 401K contributions are all things that impact your overall financial benefits with a company.

For more of the latest and most accurate information regarding your potential medical billing salary or medical coding salary, and to see how earnings might vary in your specific state, visit the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.